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Frank, many thanks for this very interesting post. The paper in BioScience I
refer to in the IHT piece was by Steven Verhey, formerly at Washington
Central University, and he employed a pedagogic technique called engaging
prior belief. I forget now who the original guy was behind this approach but
Verhey cites him in the paper. I can dig it out if anyone is interested.

best, Michael

On 2/24/07, Frank Rosenthal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>  Michael:
>
>
>
> Thanks for this post and your article.   I do not teach classes in
> biology.  But your approach seems reasonable; and it does seem to be
> supported by the one study you cited.   I occasionally broach the subject of
> evolution in my environmental health science classes, as when I discuss the
> body's intricate defenses against airborne particles, which presumably
> evolved (although some might say were "created").   The evolution
> perspective is interesting because some aspects of the physiological defense
> systems, which probably evolved to deal with infectious agents, may now be
> counterproductive when dealing with the nonviable particulates found in air
> pollution in our technological society.  Although I refer to the debate
> about evolution in passing, I do not belabor it, because I consider the
> subject peripheral to the course focus.
>
>
>
> My overall experience in teaching is that almost anything I can do to get
> students "involved" in a subject is beneficial, particularly if they are
> encouraged to come up with logical arguments to justify their position.
> And encouraging a debate about evolution seems like it could definitely be
> productive.  I think one just has to be careful to: 1) continue to uphold
> the value of scientific thinking and investigation (I think it's fine for
> the instructor to "weigh in" on this value) and 2) make sure that the single
> topic does not "overshadow" (e.g. in time and effort) one's overall
> educational objectives.
>
>
>
> All that being said, I think the conflict between evolution and belief in
> a supreme being is sometimes artificial.  Why can't evolution be part of
> God's plan?  The problem is that most "creationists" don't just want people
> to believe in God; they want people to believe in their God and their
> particular religious doctrine.
>
>
>
> In terms of the difference between high school and college students,
> obviously there can be great differences in "readiness to learn" even
> between students in the same class.  So I am not sure a big distinction
> between the two groups is warranted.  My guess is that both educational
> levels will benefit from this type of discussion.  However, probably a lot
> will depend on the teacher and how it is handled.
>
>
>
> Frank
>
> ***************************************
>
> Frank S. Rosenthal, Ph.D.
>
> Associate Professor
>
> Purdue University School of Health Sciences
>
> 550 Stadium Mall Dr.
>
> West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA
>
> tel: 765-494-0812, fax: 765-496-1377,
>
> e-mail: [log in to unmask]
>
> ***************************************
>   ------------------------------
>
> *From:* Science for the People Discussion List [mailto:
> [log in to unmask]] *On Behalf Of *Michael Balter
> *Sent:* Saturday, February 24, 2007 4:55 AM
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Subject:* dealing with creationism and intelligent design
>
>
>
> Since I am relatively new to this list I don't know what sort of
> discussions have taken place here about these subjects, but I thought list
> members might be interested in seeing (or maybe not!) an opinion piece I
> wrote on this for the International Herald Tribune a few weeks ago. I have
> gotten a lot of grief for these views from more diehard Darwinians but would
> be very interested in knowing how a lefty crowd sees these things. I have no
> preconceptions about that. This article should be freely available at this
> link, but let me know if you have trouble accessing it as I also posted it
> on my Web site.
>
> http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/01/31/opinion/edbalter.php
>
> --
> www.michaelbalter.com
>
> ******************************************
> Michael Balter
> Contributing Correspondent, Science
> [log in to unmask]
> ******************************************
>



-- 
www.michaelbalter.com

******************************************
Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
[log in to unmask]
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